The area is well-known for the Chen style of tai chi and is also home to the famed Shaolin monks, whose kung fu expertise is legendary.
Modern tai chi has its origins in the Chen style, which was developed nearly 500 years ago.
Tai chi is a martial art that's not just about defending yourself, said Byron Hartman, 30, of Seattle, a follower of Chen's for five years who trains and teaches in the Chen style
While the Sun, Yang and Wu styles are appropriate for most people, the Hao style is more challenging, and the Chen style
includes combat techniques better reserved for younger people.
Lin came to the class because he's a friend of Shirai's, he said, and the two practice the same kind of tai chi - the Chen style
, which originated in China's Hunan Province.
For tai chi, the Sun, Yang and Wu styles are fine for most older adults, but the Hao and Chen styles
are more challenging.